Two men at the centre of a plan to traffic a Hungarian woman to the UK and sell her into marriage have been jailed.
The 22-year-old Hungarian woman responded to a website job vacancy for a babysitter in London in 2013 and was offered the post in a telephone interview. However, on arrival in Budapest to travel to London she was met from the train by three men, told that she could not use her mobile phone and was driven to Slovakia.
Her traffickers used threats and intimidation throughout the three week ordeal to ensure she remained compliant, including when she was brought into the UK by coach and taken to Manchester.
Once here, she was ‘bought’ by a Pakistani man for £3,500 and told they were to marry. She was held at several addresses in Gorton, Longsight, Levenshulme and Chorley.
It was at a house in Cunliffe Street, Chorley, that the victim was finally able to alert the police after she was left alone for a short period. Officers were then able to rescue her.
Today at Preston Crown Court, Slovakian Bartolomej Sivak, 58, and Rana Yousaf, a 27-year-old Pakistani national, were jailed for four years and two months and 20 months respectively. Sivak organised the criminal operation with Yousaf acting as a go between for the groom and Sivak. He also assisted in moving the victim between different addresses and keeping her there.
Following today’s sentencing, investigators have released a photograph of another man wanted in relation to the investigation. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Pakistani national Waqas Younus, 27, can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visithttp://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
The victim has been safely returned to her family in Hungary. Two other women who are believed to be victims of Sivak’s group have been repatriated to Slovakia.